8 tips to reduce your chance of mosquito borne diseases

Mosquito borne diseases can spoil your holiday and in some cases lead to hospitalisation, and even death.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2014) over a million people worldwide die each year from diseases acquired from mosquito bites. As travellers there are many mosquito borne diseases we are exposed to, especially if we travel to tropical and subtropical regions.  Some of these disease include:

  • Malaria
  • Yellow Fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Dengue
  • Chikungunya
  • Zika

The risk of some of these diseases can be reduced by vaccination. Malaria is reduced by the use of antimalarial medications. In terms of treatment if disease is attained, malaria has specific treatments while the other diseases do not have specific treatments.

Here are 8 TIPS to reduce your risk of mosquito bites/disease

  1. Speak to your travel doctor about your risk of acquiring mosquito borne disease based on your itinerary . There are medications and vaccines to protect you that can be used including antimalarials tablets and vaccines (including vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis and Yellow Fever).
  2. Be aware that depending on your location the local mosquitoes may be active at different times of day. In some places there may be mosquitos 24 hours a day.
  3. Accommodation – ensure screens on windows are shut. If possible sleep in air-conditioned accommodation or use mosquito nets
  4. Repellent is essential, repellents containing DEET are recommended, 30% concentration is ideal for most trips
  5. Reapply repellent regularly. If using DEET 30% this means every 6 hours, Apply sunscreen first (to allow it to absorb), then apply repellent to create protective forcefield around you
  6. Dress Appropriately – light coloured, long sleeves/pants and closed-in shoes are best.
  7. Perfumes can attract mosquitoes so minimising fragrances can be helpful
  8. Permethrin (an insecticide) can be used to treat mosquito nets and clothes. This is particularly useful for camping/ trekking/adventure trips.

Disclaimer: The information on the Shepparton Travel Clinic website has been prepared for general information purpose only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. Shepparton Travel Clinic does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.